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Links 10/2/2022: Sparky 6.2 and Learning Perl in 2022



  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • BSDNow 441: Migration to BSD

        Migrating our servers from Linux to FreeBSD, Cluster provisioning with Nomad and Pot on FreeBSD, LibBSDDialog, FreeBSD 13.0 Base Jails with ZFS and VNET, and more.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 942

        Joels loves visual code studio and you should too. Slackware 15 released

      • FLOSS Weekly 667: Open Source Onboarding - Ramón Huidobro, CodeSee

        Ramón Huidobro of CodeSee joins Doc Searls and Shawn Powers on this episode of FLOSS Weekly. Open source is bigger and wilder than ever, which means onboarding talent to a project is a serious thing. And nobody knows more or better about onboarding than Huidobro of CodeSee, which visualizes dependencies and much more in your codebase. In this episode, Huidobro clues the FLOSS Weekly hosts and listeners into what's involved with visualizing codebases, bringing talent in, working as ensembles and much more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Handling argc==0 in the kernel [LWN.net]

        By now, most readers are likely to be familiar with the Polkit vulnerability known as CVE-2021-4034. The fix for Polkit is relatively straightforward and is being rolled out across the net. The root of this problem, though, lies in a misunderstanding about how programs are run on Unix-like systems. This problem is highly likely to exist in other programs, so it would be nice to find a more general solution. The best place to address this issue may be in the kernel, but properly working around this misunderstanding without causing regressions is not an easy task.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Install Budgie Desktop Environment on Debian 11 Bullseye - LinuxCapable

        Budgie is a desktop environment that is free and open-source that uses GNOME technologies such as GTK (> 3.x) and is developed by the Solus project, which also contributes to its design through contributors from numerous communities, including Arch Linux; Manjaro; openSUSE Tumbleweed – among others.

      • How to Install Let's Encrypt SSL with Apache on Debian 11

        How to Install Let’s Encrypt SSL with Apache on Debian 11. You will also learn to configure virtual host with Apache and secure your setup with HTTPS redirection.

        This setup is tested on Google cloud, so it will work on all cloud hosting services like AWS, Azure or any VPS or any dedicated servers running Debian 11.

      • How to install Cinnamon Desktop on Debian 11 | FOSS Linux

        One of the best features of Debian 11 is the support for different desktop environments other than the default option that it comes with. Besides the GNOME desktop environment (DE) that Debian 11 supports by default, you can install other DEs like Xfce, Cinnamon, Mate, etc.

        You can choose to install any one or more of these DEs on your Debian 11 installation. So even if you already have the GNOME DE installed, do not worry; you can still install another DE (albeit you need to be careful when keeping multiple DEs on your Debian installation).

        Cinnamon is a fantastic choice for a desktop experience. It has many unique features, loads of themes, and incredible customizability. It is stable and is regularly supported by the community. Cinnamon is an open-source and free desktop environment with a core focus on adaptability, speed, and unambiguous clarity. We found Cinnamon a worthy Linux desktop environment due to its fantastic versatility and support for so many features. You can read all about that here.

        So now that you have finally decided to install the Cinnamon desktop environment on your Debian 11 installation, then you have come to the right page. This article will describe how to install it in a few different ways. Whether you want to install Cinnamon in addition to a desktop environment already installed on your Debian 11, or you want to do a fresh installation of Debian 11 with Cinnamon, we will cover both methods in this article.

      • How to Find Date and Time Linux OS was Installed - Putorius

        A while back I built my friend a fairly simple custom application for his business. It was just a web front end with a MySQL database and never meant for long term use. However, I just spoke with him and he said it was still running. He also mentioned that the only time he ever touched the server was about 2 years ago when there was a power outage. I was amazed and wondered just how long it has been since I brought the server online. I needed a way to find the date and time of the OS installation (I am just a curious person). If you are also a curious person you are probably wondering how long the server was running? Keep reading to find out how to find the date and time Linux OS was installed, as well as how long my buddies system has been running with zero maintenance or updates.

      • How to Add Windows Host to Nagios Ubuntu Server – Part 3

        In Part 1 and Part 2 of this Nagios server article series, we managed to learn how to install Nagios on an Ubuntu server and add a remote Linux host to the Nagios server for easy monitoring of its defined services. Part 3 and the final portion of this article series will walk us through adding a remote Windows host to the Nagios server.

        Just like the Linux operating system architecture, the Windows OS also embraces important OS services critical to the performance of your machine. They include memory usage, Disk Usage, and CPU load.

        For us to remotely monitor such Windows OS services from an Ubuntu hosted Nagios server, the Windows machine needs to first accommodate the NSClient++ addon, which acts as a Windows-to-Nagios proxy, making it possible for Nagios and Windows to communicate via the check_nt plugin originating from the Nagios Monitoring Server.

      • Install/Upgrade HandBrake on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS - LinuxCapable

        HandBrake is an open-source video transcoder that can be downloaded for free and supports Mac, Windows, or Linux to convert videos in many different formats into more commonly used ones like MP4 with minimal file size reduction – making it efficient at reducing the amount of data consumed on your hard drive while also helping save time!

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Handbrake on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish.

      • Deploy MySQL and phpMyAdmin with Docker – The New Stack

        Databases are a key component of your docker containers. Without the ability to access data, you might find those containers to be a bit less-than-capable. To that end, you might deploy MySQL via a Docker container and then connect another container to the database for data. However, what about populating that database with data? Or what about managing the database? You can’t just pull down a docker image, deploy a container with it, and assume it will magically populate with the necessary data for your containerized application.

      • How to install Shotcut video editor on Zorin OS 16 - Invidious
      • How to install Swift programming language on Ubuntu

        Swift is a multi-paradigm, general-purpose compiled programming language developed by Apple Inc. and the open source community (only as of version 2.2) .

        First released in 2014, Swift was developed as a replacement for Apple’s previous programming language Objective-C, as Objective-C has remained largely unchanged since the early 1980s and lacked modern language features.

      • Install Squid Proxy Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux

        Squid is a web proxy that used my wide range of organizations. It is often used as a caching proxy and improving response times and reducing bandwidth usage.

        It has a wide variety of uses, including speeding up a web server by caching repeated requests, caching web, DNS and other computer network lookups for a group of people sharing network resources, and aiding security by filtering traffic. Although primarily used for HTTP and FTP, Squid includes limited support for several other protocols including Internet Gopher, SSL, TLS and HTTPS.

      • How to Install I2P on Debian Server:

        The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is a fully encrypted private network layer that has been developed with privacy and security by design in order to provide protection for your activity, location and your identity. The software ships with a router that connects you to the network and applications for sharing, communicating and building.

      • How To Install and Use AngularJS on Ubuntu

        AngularJS was a JavaScript-based open-source front-end web framework for developing single-page applications. It was maintained mainly by Google and a community of individuals and corporations.

      • How to install osTicket on CentOS 8 /RHEL 8

        osTicket is a widely-used open source support ticket system. It seamlessly integrates inquiries created via email, phone and web-based forms into a simple easy-to-use multi-user web interface. Manage, organize and archive all your support requests and responses in one place while providing your customers with accountability and responsiveness they deserve.

      • How to install Mupen64Plus on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Mupen64Plus on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • New To Linux? Learn The Jargon! - Invidious

        Are you new to Linux or thinking about switching to Linux from Windows or Mac? If so, you may find some of the Linux terminology kind of confusing. So today, I'm going to demystify a few of the common terms within Linux jargon...

      • Mastodon Setup with Docker and Caddy | ~rriemann

        In my previous post, we setup a Mastodon server using Docker and nginx-proxy. In this post, we use instead the web server Caddy. I’ve only discovered Caddy a week ago. The configuration of Mastodon is now even simpler and shorter. Caddy redirects traffic automatically from HTTP to HTTPS and configures HTTPS for all domains via Let’s Encryption. :rocket:

        Our starting point is the docker-compose.yml shipped with the Mastodon code. Why is it not enough? It assumes you setup up proxy with HTTPS endpoints yourself. So let’s integrate this as well in Docker.

    • Games

      • Party-based dungeon crawling RPG 'Escape The Mad Empire' looks awesome | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for a big mixed bag of genres? Escape The Mad Empire is an upcoming pixel-art game that combines elements of dungeon crawling, roguelikes, tactical battles and a little base building too.

      • Creative Assembly show off online play for Total War: WARHAMMER III | GamingOnLinux

        Total War: WARHAMMER III is due for release on February 17, with a Linux port from Feral Interactive due sometime soon after and we now have the first footage of online play.

        CA say that WARHAMMER III is "bigger than ever" with more game modes and players available than previous entries in the series.

        [...]

        Feral Interactive who are doing the Linux port have so far ignored our emails asking for information on cross-platform multiplayer in their version, so we fully expect it to not have online play with the Window build.

      • Developer of Netherguild looking for Alpha testers | GamingOnLinux

        Netherguild is an upcoming turn-based tactical roguelite dungeon-crawler that will be offering native Linux support, and you can try out the Alpha version right now. Long-time readers might recognise it, as we covered it initially quite early on back in 2019.

      • Eggnut decide not to bring Backbone to Linux officially | GamingOnLinux

        After a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2018, developer Eggnut released their post-noir narrative adventure Backbone in June 2021. Sadly, they've decided not to go through with the official Linux support on it.

      • More than 400 Titles Ready (Verified and Playable) for the Steam Deck - Boiling Steam

        Today marks another milestone for the Steam Deck Verified and Playable games. After a few days of very few additions to the list, Valve has bumped up the list significantly in the last few hours. We now have 412 titles (at the time of writing) in total that should work on the Steam Deck, split in two categories...

      • Steam Deck Verified jumps to over 240 titles | GamingOnLinux

        Each day we're stepping ever close to the Steam Deck releasing and it seems Valve's testing is beginning to speed up, with now well over 200 titles now fully Steam Deck Verified. Around 6 days ago, it was only at 120.

        The actual number is 243 according to the unofficial SteamDB tracker. An impressive amount of course though, one that absolutely dwarfs any of the modern console launches from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo and it's only going to get bigger before release.

      • AI driver can beat some of the world's best players at Gran Turismo

        The AI, named GT Sophy, was able to execute tactical moves such as using an opponent’s slipstream to boost itself forwards and block its opponents from passing.

        Peter Wurman at Sony AI in New York and his colleagues trained the system using deep reinforcement learning, a type of machine learning that uses rewards and penalties to teach the AI’s neural network how to win. During training, GT Sophy, which was running on a separate computer, played the game on up to 20 PlayStation 4 consoles simultaneously.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • NINE REASONS CUSTOMERS LOVE RANCHER | SUSE Communities

          We interviewed a number of existing SUSE Rancher customers and asked them what they loved about it. The findings are nothing short of astonishing! We are posting them here since they may help you with your container/cloud native journey.

        • openSUSE 15.2 to 15.3 upgrade notes

          In a previous article I have shown how to upgrade a distro using zypper but after the first reboot some issue might always happen, that’s why I collected all the changes and the tweaks I applied switching from openSUSE 15.2 to 15.3.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Community Blog: Call for Projects and Mentors: GSoC 2022

          Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a mentorship program where people interested in learning more about open source are welcomed into open source communities by excited mentors ready to help them learn and grow as developers. Fedora Project’s participation in the past has been successful, and we would like to continue being a mentoring org.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest: January 2022 | Red Hat Developer

          This 48th edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest covers what happened in the Apache Kafka community in January 2022. The release of Apache Kafka 3.1.0 is the big news, including updates to Kafka Connect and Kafka Streams. I'll also discuss new KIPs and open source releases in January 2022.

          This is the fourth anniversary of this series! If you are interested in the history behind the Kafka Monthly Digest, last year I explained on Twitter how I got started.

        • Business savvy: 8 non-tech skills sysadmins need to know | Enable Sysadmin

          Being a successful sysadmin isn't just about networks and cables. Here are the business skills every sysadmin needs to have.

        • IT leadership: 8 tips to improve resiliency | The Enterprisers Project

          IT leaders and their teams have exhibited incredible industriousness and perseverance over the past two years, not only overcoming the challenges thrown their way but often rising above them to deliver game-changing capabilities to their organizations.

          There’s no rest for IT, though. The year ahead promises to put technology organizations to the test as they enable enterprises to meet rapidly changing customer demands, create better employee experiences, mitigate complex security challenges, effectively and ethically integrate emerging artificial intelligence (AI) tools, consider the impact of climate change, and ensure resilient business systems in an uncertain global environment.

          The only way for CIOs to tackle these challenges – and avoid burnout – is to improve their own resilience as leaders and as individuals. “When we’re exhausted and we’re burned out, we cannot think big,” says Adam Markel, author of the forthcoming book, Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-Term Resilience. “And [IT leaders] have to constantly be bigger than the problems that are presented. They have to be able to think outside of the bounds of whatever challenge or problem is coming at them.”

        • Fedora and pkexec [LWN.net]

          The nasty vulnerability in pkexec has been rippling through the Linux world, leading to lots of security updates to the underlying polkit authorization toolkit. It also led to a recent discussion on the Fedora devel mailing list about whether pkexec, which runs a program as another user, is actually needed—or wanted—in some or all of the distribution's editions. But pkexec is used by quite a few different Fedora components, particularly in desktop-oriented editions, and it could perhaps be a better choice than the alternatives for running programs with the privileges of another user.

          Adam Williamson raised the issue on the day after the disclosure of the PwnKit flaw. It is, as he noted, a longstanding (since the first version of pkexec in 2009) local root privilege escalation.

      • Debian Family

        • Steinar H. Gunderson: Faster man-db

          As of a few days ago, the man-db version in Debian unstable (2.10.0) is a lot faster in rebuilding its index (used for whatis/apropos). Earlier versions would use as much as a few minutes in the dpkg trigger; now it's about 40 times as fast, and rarely takes more than a few seconds even for large upgrades. (We've discussed putting it in the background, but it's really not that annoying anymore.)

          The code is basically all Colin's; I'll take credit only for nagging him and providing a straw man implementation to demonstrate the speedup was possible in the first place.

        • Sparky 6.2

          The second update of Sparky 6 of the stable line – 6.2 is out.

          It is a next, quaterly updated point release of Sparky 6 “Po Tolo” of the stable line. Sparky 6 is based on and fully compatible with Debian 11 “Bullseye”.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Download Trisquel 10 "Nabia" with Mirrors, Torrents and Checksums

          Trisquel 10 Nabia is released 1 February 2022! It is the latest version of the computer operating system that is completely free software, based on GNU/Linux and empowering the laptops series sold by Respects Your Freedom. Nabia, based on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa and will supported until April 2025, brings the latest enhancements, convenience and full control to software freedom users featuring a new wallpaper. This article collects Nabia download links, mirrors and torrents as well as the checksum for you. Now let's download!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 8 Best Free and Open Source Linux Statistical Analysis Tools

        Science is the effort of seeking to comprehend how the physical world works. From observation and experimentation, science uses physical evidence of natural phenomena to compile data and analyze the collated information.

        In modern research it is essential for scientists to keep abreast of the latest statistical software. Just like the fast moving world of research, developments in statistical software and methods continue to abound. Making full use of the improvements in computer software helps to advance the pace of research.

      • Useful GUI Email Clients for Linux Desktop

        For the most part, users typically access their emails from a web browser. It’s fast and convenient as you can easily get in touch with your emails across any device you are using. However, there is still a significant portion of users who prefer using email clients as opposed to accessing their emails from a browser. Outlook is one of the widely used email clients in Windows.

      • How to use man command in Linux, important options for beginners 2021 – Cyber Pratibha

        man command in linux is short form of manual of any tool, utility, and commands. man command is used to giving information and instruction of particular command. Instruction would be what are the possible way and option to use that command.

        You will find very useful and essential command, which helps you explore other command as well as troubleshoot.

        You get a detailed view of the command which includes NAME, SYNOPSIS, DESCRIPTION, OPTIONS, EXIT STATUS, RETURN VALUES, ERRORS, FILES, VERSIONS, EXAMPLES, AUTHORS and SEE ALSO by using man command.

      • openScale: An open-source weight tracker app with Bluetooth scales support

        If you are using Bluetooth scale devices to sync and record your weight, but you do not want to use privacy-intrusive apps which are stuffed by ads and malware scripts, then you should consider openScale.

        [...]

        The openScale app is licensed under the GPL v3.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Linux Mint Announces New Partnership With Mozilla. What can we expect from Firefox?
            Linux Mint announced a new partnership with Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser. This announcement coincides with the release of the latest Linux Mint update Firefox operating system, which is based on Mozilla’s Firefox web browser, among other things.

            The new Firefox Linux partnership will allow them to share ideas and initiatives in order to advance web technologies and promote an open and accessible internet for people around the world.

          • What’s up with SUMO – February 2022 – The Mozilla Support Blog

            We decided to skip January’s update since we’ve published December’s data along with the 2021 retrospection. January was also packed with planning and many incidents that makes it such a packed month. But today, we’re finally here to give you another round of updates so, let’s dive into it!

          • New Release: Tor Browser 11.0.6 (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android)

            Tor Browser 11.0.6 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This version includes important security updates to Firefox.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • An attic for LibreOffice Online [LWN.net]

          In mid-December, Thorsten Behrens, a board member for the Document Foundation (TDF), posted a seemingly simple proposal for an "attic" that would become the home of abandoned projects. No specific projects were named as the first intended residents of the attic, but the proposal clearly related to the LibreOffice Online (LOOL) project. The following discussion made it clear that the unhappiness around LOOL has yet to fade away, and that the Foundation still has some work to do when it comes to defining its relationship with its corporate members.

          The Document Foundation is, of course, the entity charged with furthering the development of LibreOffice and related software. LOOL, which allows collaborative editing of documents, has been under development for a decade or so; that work picked up in 2015 when TDF announced that LOOL would be "developed into a state of the art cloud application". Over the years, though, the relationship between TDF and Collabora, the company doing the bulk of the development work for LOOL, began to sour. In mid-2020, the company complained that it could not bring in revenue to support LibreOffice developers when everything was available for free; among other things, Collabora wanted a clearer path toward making money on LOOL. Despite efforts on all sides to find a solution, Collabora stopped working on LOOL later that year, choosing instead to continue to develop that code outside the TDF under its "Collabora Online" brand.

        • Bad Code, Licenses, Software Milestones Showcase Linux Wins and Losses

          The LibreOffice Community on Feb. 2 announced the release of a major upgrade to version 7.3, a volunteer-supported free office suite for cross-platform productivity on desktop computers and laptops.

          The open-source suite includes a word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation, and drawing components based on the LibreOffice technology platform for personal computing productivity. It brings a large number of improvements targeting users migrating from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice, or exchanging documents between the two office suites.

          This latest release features three kinds of interoperability upgrades: development of new features, speed improvements when opening large Microsoft Office files and rendering operations, and improvements to import/export filters. Plus, LibreOffice’s help system focuses on those switching from Microsoft Office.

          LibreOffice editions for Linux, macOS, and Windows computers offer the highest level of compatibility in the office suite market segment, starting with native support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF). In addition, LibreOffice provides filters for a large number of legacy document formats to return ownership and control to users.

        • LibreOffice QA/Dev Report: January 2022
      • Programming/Development

        • Restartable sequences in glibc [LWN.net]

          "Restartable sequences" are small segments of user-space code designed to access per-CPU data structures without the need for heavyweight locking. It is a relatively obscure feature, despite having been supported by the Linux kernel since the 4.18 release. Among other things, there is no support in the GNU C Library (glibc) for this feature. That is about to change with the upcoming glibc 2.35 release, though, so a look at the user-space API for this feature is warranted. The kernel makes extensive use of per-CPU data structures to avoid locking. This technique works well if the kernel takes care to disable preemption while those data structures are being manipulated; as long as a task running in the kernel has exclusive access to the data, it can safely make changes. It would be nice to be able to use similar techniques in user space, but user-space code lacks the luxury of being able to disable preemption. So a different approach, which relies on detecting rather than preventing preemption, must be used.

        • Get an easy start to coding with our new free online course
        • Perl/Raku

          • Learn Perl in 2022 | Opensource.com

            Released in early 1988, Perl is a postmodern programming language often considered a scripting language, but it is also capable of object-oriented programming. It is a mature language with tens of thousands of libraries, GUI frameworks, a spin-off language called Raku, and an active and passionate community. Its developers pride themselves on its flexibility: According to its creator Larry Wall, Perl doesn't enforce any particular programming style on its users, and there's more than one way to accomplish most things.

        • Python

          • Python and deprecations redux [LWN.net]

            The problem of how to deprecate pieces of the Python language in a minimally disruptive way has cropped in various guises over the last few years—in truth, it has been wrangled with throughout much of language's 30-year history. The scars of the biggest deprecation, that of Python 2, are still rather fresh, both for users and the core developers, so no one wants (or plans) a monumental change of that sort. But the language community does want to continue evolving Python, which means leaving some "baggage" behind; how to do so without leaving further scars is a delicate balancing act, as yet another discussion highlights.

            We looked in on some discussion of the topic back in December, but the topic pops up frequently. There is a policy on handling deprecations that is described in PEP 387 ("Backwards Compatibility Policy"), but the reality of how they are handled is often less clear-cut. Python has several warnings that can be raised when features slated for deprecation are used: PendingDeprecationWarning and DeprecationWarning. The former is meant to give even more warning for a feature that will coexist with its replacement for multiple releases, while the latter indicates something that could be removed two releases after the warning is added—effectively two years based on the relatively recent annual release cycle.

            But, as noted in that earlier discussion, the deprecation period is for a minimum of two release cycles. There are concerns that time frame is being treated as a deadline of sorts—to the detriment of some parts of the ecosystem. So on January 18, Victor Stinner, Tomáš Hrnčiar, and Miro Hrončok proposed postponing some deprecations that had been scheduled for Python 3.11, which is due in October. The message referred to an early January posting by Hrnčiar to the Python discussion forum that described the problems Fedora had encountered when building its packages using a development version of 3.11.

        • Rust

        • C++

  • Leftovers

    • Citius Altius Fortius: the Political Games Around the Olympics

      The Olympic Flag which rises at every Olympic event and flies over the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee at Lausanne, Switzerland, has five intertwining rings which represent the five continents of Planet Earth and their fraternal interdependence.

      Perhaps better than any other human activity, sports illustrates the aspiration of all human beings to go beyond the limits, go faster, climb higher, be stronger.€  In a way it is the unwritten credo of humanity, the desire for progress, moving forward, doing things better, both individually and collectively. Watching the Olympics shows us what the human being is capable of – and gives us a sense of wonderment an humility.

    • Flight Shame in Great Barrington

      Thirty years ago I was living on the Red Sea coast on the Egypt-Sudan border in an area where there were no roads. Nomadic tribesmen went down to the sea to fish and sometimes found the shore covered with plastic that drifted in on the waves. Plastic bags filled with air and skittered away over the landscape making circles in the desert wind. I think of those plastic bags when I see the small planes coming over the wooded ridges around the old farmhouse where I live in rural New York state. Since the pandemic began, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people going up in small planes. These are coming from an airfield in Great Barrington, Mass., where the newspapers reports town hall meetings packed with local residents shouting at the owners of the Barrington airfield about the squalid atmosphere of noise pollution and intrusion—the general degradation of conditions of life they impose on the people below.

    • Not Everyone is Male or Female: the Problem With Sex Designations

      But sex designation is not as simple as a glance and then a check of one box or another. Instead, the overwhelming evidence shows that sex is not binary. To put it another way, the terms “male” and “female” don’t fully capture the complex biological, anatomical and chromosomal variations that occur in the human body.

      That’s why calls are growing to remove sex designation from birth certificates, including a recent recommendation from the American Medical Association.

    • An Ancient Egyptian Salute to Russian Olympic Skater Kamila Valieva
    • Nothing in film will ever match the emotion in the theatre at the end of Dr Semmelweis

      "Wash your hands! Wash your hands!" – shouts Academy Award winner Mark Rylance to the audience in his latest play. One of the greatest British actors of our time, most recently seen in the Netflix film Don't Look Up, has written a play about Ignaz Semmelweis, the Hungarian 'saviour of mothers', which recently premiered at the Bristol Old Vic, and in which he also plays the title character.

    • Science

      • Opinion | Anthropocene Means The Future Is in Our Hands

        Geologists have classified most epochs in Earth's history according to fossils, radiometric dating and composition of the strata. The widely endorsed label for our current era, the Anthropocene, describes the extent to which our collective human footprint is changing the planet. It's a proposed "geological epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems."

    • Hardware

      • How Can 335 Horses Weigh 63 Pounds?

        Koenigsegg, the Swedish car company, has a history of unusual engineering. The latest innovation is an electric motor developed for its Gemera hybrid vehicle. The relatively tiny motor weighs 63 pounds and develops 335 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. Dubbed the Quark, the motor uses both radial and axial flux designs to achieve these impressive numbers.

        There is a catch, of course. Like most EV motors, those numbers are not sustainable. The company claims the motor can output peak power for 20 seconds and then drops to 134 horsepower/184 lb-ft of torque. The Gemera can supplement, of course, with its internal combustion engine — a 3 cylinder design.

      • 3-Wheeled Electric Skateboard Does Things Differently | Hackaday

        Typically, electric skateboards drive one or more wheels with brushless motors, while keeping everything mounted on otherwise fairly-standard trucks to maintain maneuverability. However, [swedishFeetballs] decided to go a different route, building a 3-wheeled design using some interesting parts.

        The build relies on a large combined hub motor and wheel, similar to those you would find on a hoverboard or some electric scooters; this one is a Xiaomi part sourced from eBay. It’s controlled via an off-the-shelf electric skateboard speed controller that comes complete with its own remote.

        The hardware is all bolted up to a custom skateboard deck built from scratch to accept the large single rear wheel. Up front, a regular skateboard truck is used. Batteries are mounted under the deck. Reportedly, the board has a top speed of 15 mph, which unsurprisingly matches that of the Xiaomi M365 the hub motor is sourced from.

      • Mining And Refining: Lithium, Powering The Future With Brine | Hackaday

        Many years ago, I read an article about the new hotness: lithium batteries. The author opened with what he no doubt thought was a clever pop culture reference by saying that the mere mention of lithium would “strike fear in the hearts of Klingons.” It was a weak reference to the fictional “dilithium crystals” of Star Trek fame, and even then I found it a bit cheesy, but I guess he had to lead with something.

        Decades later, a deeper understanding of the lore makes it clear that a Klingon’s only fear is death with dishonor, but there is a species here on earth that lives in dread of lithium: CEOs of electric vehicle manufacturing concerns. For them, it’s not the presence of lithium that strikes fear, but the relative absence of it; while it’s the 25th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, and gigatons are dissolved into the oceans of the world, lithium is very reactive and thus tends to be diffuse, making it difficult to obtain concentrated in the quantities their businesses depend on.

        As the electric vehicle and renewable energy markets continue to grow, the need for lithium to manufacture batteries will grow with it, potentially to the point where demand outstrips the mining industry’s production capability. To understand how that imbalance may be possible, we’ll take a look at how lithium is currently mined, as well as examine some new mining techniques that may help fill the coming lithium gap.

      • Russell Coker: Mouse and Teflon

        I had a problem with my mouse. The slippery plastic bits on the bottom weren’t glued on well and came off, which then gave more friction when moving on the desk. After asking advice on a mailing list the best suggestion was Teflon sticky tape. I bought a few meters of such tape (a lifetime supply for mouse repair) and used an 8cm strip on each side of the bottom of my mouse which made it slippery enough.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • RFK Jr.: Busted making a political donation to RAGA

        As I look back at this blog, I sometimes find it hard to believe that I’ve been writing about certain people since the beginning (or almost the beginning). One of these people is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., whose antivaccine conspiracy co-published in Salon.com and Rolling Stone in 2005 led to my first post ever went viral. Back then, RFK Jr. was promoting a conspiracy theory in which the CDC tried to cover up evidence that the thimerosal preservative that was used in several childhood vaccines until 2001 or so caused autism. These days, RFK Jr. promotes conspiracy theories that the CDC and Anthony Fauci are covering up harms from COVID-19 vaccines and other COVID-19 public health mitigation measures, such as mask mandates and “lockdowns,” but with added antisemitism and fascism. Nearly 17 years later, the only two things have changed. First, RFK Jr. has become more, not less, radical in his antivaccine crusade. Second, he’s not just antivax anymore! He’s broadened his conspiracy world to include all manner of COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories. (He’s even decided that Sirhan Sirhan didn’t kill his father, leading me down another rabbit hole of a conspiracy theory that I hadn’t known existed!) He’s also trying to buy political influence, as their report from Popular Information about his having donated to the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) illegally:

      • 'Enough Is Enough': Sanders, Klobuchar Unveil Bill to Slash Drug Prices in Half

        With eyes on ultimately empowering Medicare to leverage its prodigious purchasing power to negotiate lower U.S. medication prices, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would let the federal health insurance program pay the same for prescription drugs as the Department of Veterans Affairs.€ 

        "The time to act is now. It's time for the Senate to have a debate and a vote to bring down the outrageous price of prescription drugs."

      • Having Learned Nothing From 900,000 Deaths, Governors Lift Mask Mandates
      • Pakistan: Cousin marriages create high risk of genetic disorders

        Karachi-based health expert Seraj ud Daulah said that the practice of cousin marriages in Pakistan can be traced to Islamic religious doctrines.

        "I asked clerics to help create awareness about genetic diseases, asking them to explain to people how cousin marriages are contributing to the rise in genetic diseases," Daulah told DW.

        However, he said the clerics he spoke with flatly refused, claiming that such marriages are in accordance with Islamic Sharia law and the traditions of the Prophet Mohammad.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • A sign of ransomware growth: Gangs now arbitrate disputes [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The new report on 2021 ransomware trends highlights the growing maturity and specialization of the ransomware market, with independent operators filling a lucrative niche market. Specialists now range from the hackers who can break into networks or develop ransomware to the nontechnical operators who negotiate payments with victims. The United Kingdom's National Cyber Security Centre said it's seen some ransomware gangs offer a 24/7 help center to victims to expedite ransom payments and restore encrypted data.

          There's even money to be made by arbitrators who can settle payment disputes among the various ransomware criminals, according to the report.

        • Security

          • Russian Govt. Continues Carding Shop Crackdown [Ed: Microsoft Windows]

            Russian authorities have arrested six men accused of operating some of the most active online bazaars for selling stolen payment card data. The crackdown — the second closure of major card fraud shops by Russian authorities in as many weeks — comes closely behind Russia’s arrest of 14 alleged affiliates of the REvil ransomware gang, and has many in the cybercrime underground asking who might be next.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • The bill comes due: Securing open-source software isn't going to be cheap [Ed: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols now helps proprietary software deflect attention away from NSA back doors, by shifting attention to Free software instead]

              Open-source software has always been more secure than proprietary software, but that doesn't mean it's "secure." To lock it down, we need to invest serious cash in developers and maintainers.

              You may have noticed that a lot of people are getting seriously cranky about open-source software security lately. They have a reason. Our screw-ups have been making the news a lot lately.

              To name but a few, there was the ongoing Log4j vulnerability fixups; the npm bad code injection fiasco; and you haven't heard the last of the Linux PolKit security hole since many embedded systems will never be patched.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Victory! ID.me to Drop Facial Recognition Requirement for Government Services

              This is an important win: facial recognition is a dangerous surveillance tool. Coercing facial recognition to interact with the government is especially pernicious, as it unnecessarily forces people to give up their privacy in exchange for necessary services. Worse still, forcing people to hand their biometric data over to a third party, which is bound by fewer privacy restrictions and regulations, would have put huge swathes of the public’s personal data at risk of being misused.€ 

              Why did the IRS, and ID.me, back down? The IRS plan was roundly criticized by researchers, grassroots advocates, civil liberties experts, and other branches of government. Congress members Ted Lieu and Ron Wyden expressed their concerns about the plan. Likewise, FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson lambasted it, noting that federal rules would require biometric data to be stored for at least seven years, a lengthy period that makes privacy breaches more likely, and that ID.me would not be bound by legislation on how it could use this biometric data. The General Services Administration, which oversees Login.gov and provides services to 200 websites run by 28 federal agencies, also came out against the plan, saying GSA would not use facial recognition “or any other emerging technology for use with government benefits and services until rigorous review has given us confidence that we can do so equitably and without causing harm to vulnerable populations.”

              Coercing users of the IRS website, which is one of the federal government’s most frequently visited sites, to hand over their biometric data to a third party would have been a dangerous step. At the moment, it’s still unclear if the Treasury will simply look elsewhere for biometric services. But now that ID.me is loosening its facial recognition requirement for all government services, it’s likely that any plans to require facial recognition for this government service will face blowback. Additionally, while it is good that the Treasury has backed away from this plan, and that facial recognition won’t be required for ID.me users to interact with government services, questions remain about how and why the Treasury decided to force taxpayers into turning over their biometric information to a private company in the first place. Additionally, how has ID.me’s facial recognition requirement been in place for years with such little oversight? Congress should hold public hearings with both Treasury officials and representatives from ID.me to answer these questions.

            • Democrats Urge Federal Agencies to Abandon Use of Facial Recognition

              A quartet of progressives in Congress sent letters to five U.S. departments Wednesday urging all federal agencies to end the use of Clearview AI's facial recognition technology.

              "Facial recognition technology runs the risk of deterring the public from participating in marches or rallies, or speaking out against injustice."

            • Whistleblower Alleges NSO Offered To 'Drop Off Bags Of Cash' In Exchange To Access To US Cellular Networks

              The endless parade of bad news for Israeli malware merchant NSO Group continues. While it appears someone might be willing to bail out the beleaguered company, it still has to do business as the poster boy for the furtherance of human rights violations around the world. That the Israeli government may have played a significant part in NSO's sales to known human rights violators may ultimately be mitigating, but for now, NSO is stuck playing defense with each passing news cycle.

            • Opinion | How About We Don't Ever Put Surveillance Robot Dogs on the US Border

              On February 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, the official research and development arm of the agency, released a cutesy press release about how robotic dogs made in collaboration with Ghost Robotics are “one step closer” to deployment on the U.S.-Mexico border.

            • EFF Joins Activists And Human Rights Groups To Reject Attacks on Encryption

              Earlier this month, the U.K. Home Office spent public money on a high-priced ad campaign that bad-mouthed encryption, portraying it as a tool used by criminals. In the U.S., a Senate committee is about to vote on the dangerous “EARN IT” Act, which could lead to widespread scanning of private messages and photos. In both countries, the excuse is the same: lawmakers say they need to get into our messages so they can prevent crimes against children.€ 

              The public is wise to this. We know that encryption is necessary for defending everyone’s privacy and security online. Government officials can’t be allowed to treat basic security measures as evidence of a crime.€ 

              EFF has joined with cybersecurity experts and human rights activists around the world to push back against the scaremongering tactics being used by the U.K. government, in a letter signed by more than 50 groups and security experts.€ 

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Wars We Couldn't End

        Certain events function that way, too. After they occur, it’s impossible to go back to how things were: World War II for one generation, the Vietnam War for another, and 9/11 for a third. Tell me it isn’t hard now to remember what it was like to catch a flight without schlepping down roped-off chutes like cattle to the slaughter, even if for most of the history of air travel, no one worried about underwear bombers or explosive baby formula. Of course, once upon a time, we weren’t incessantly at war either.

        However, for my students, the clumsily named Gen Z, the transformative event in their lives hasn’t been a war at all — no matter that their country has been enmeshed in one or more of them for all of their conscious lives. It’s probably George Floyd’s murder or the Covid pandemic or the double whammy of both, mixed in with a deadly brew of Trumpism. That alone strikes me as a paradigm shift.

      • We Still Need an Anti-War Movement

        When I urge my writing students to juice up their stories, I tell them about “disruptive technologies,” inventions and concepts that end up irrevocably changing industries. Think: iPhones, personal computers, or to reach deep into history, steamships. It’s the tech version of what we used to call a paradigm shift. (President Biden likes to refer to it as an inflection point.)

      • The Clowns of War Risking It All

        Right now, the media, all of them, are busting open at the seams with the need for war’s gassy release. If someone lights a match in the current climate: BOOM. Will the Russians invade Taiwan?€  Will the Red Army descend like Huns on the war chickens in Kiev, forcing the Ukrainians to build a willing wall? Or a mall? Or a hall? Or some dodge to hide their loot in? Will Bucky Bucky Beaver finally pull the lever on the Fall? Say, That’s All, folks! Will the Smiling Buddha finally have the nirvana to laugh his ass off? Cry, suffer motherfuckers! Will the Pakis deliver their Sunni warheads to the Saudis? Have the Russkies already delivered their nuclear cookies to the Shia Iranians? Which anti-Semite nation will Israel nuke first? There’s so many to choose from.€  Will America’s PNAC pearlharborists continue to spread their dark hegemonic needs, like Johnny Bad Appleseed, around the world?

        Here we are — the hoi polloi — waiting waiting waiting for Donny Brook to weigh in.

      • What the Cuban Missile Crisis Can Teach Us About Today’s Ukraine Crisis

        During the 1962 Cuban crisis, the situation was remarkably similar to that in today’s Eastern Europe, although the great power roles were reversed.

        In 1962, the Soviet Union had encroached on the U.S. government’s self-defined sphere of influence by installing medium-range nuclear missiles in Cuba, a nation only 90 miles from U.S. shores. The Cuban government had requested the missiles as a deterrent to a U.S. invasion, an invasion that seemed quite possible given the long history of U.S. intervention in Cuban affairs, as well as the 1961 U.S.-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion.

      • Hemispheric Gangsterism: the US Embargo Against Cuba

        The proclamation was packed with Cold War righteousness and much sanctimony.€  Cuba under the revolutionary Fidel Castro, fresh from overthrowing a Washington favourite and blood-smeared thug, Fulgencio Batista, was “incompatible with the principles and objectives of the Inter-American system”.€  The US was “prepared to take all necessary actions to promote national and hemispheric security by isolating the present Government of Cuba and thereby reducing the threat posed by its alignment with communist powers.”

        A year later, Kennedy invoked the Trading with the Enemy Act with the purpose of expanding the scope of the embargo, covering trade, travel, and financial transactions except those licensed by the Secretary of the Treasury, as directed by the president.

      • Experts Detail Deadly Consequences of US Drone Strikes at Senate Hearing

        Experts on the conduct and consequences of U.S. drone strikes delivered harrowing testimony Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on two decades of aerial bombardment during the so-called War on Terror.€ 

        "If any other country launched this program, we would rightly call it an unlawful, extrajudicial, and arbitrary use of force."

      • Early Draft of RNC Censure Described Capitol Attack as "Nonviolent" and "Legal"
      • Will Biden Declare a “No First Use” Approach to Nuclear Weapons?
      • Emails Show The LAPD Cut Ties With The Citizen App After Its Started A Vigilante Manhunt Targeting An Innocent Person

        It didn't take long for Citizen -- the app that once wanted to be a cop -- to wear out its law enforcement welcome. The crime reporting app has made several missteps since its inception, beginning with its original branding as "Vigilante."

      • Echoing Antiwar Activists, Sanders Warns Against Sanctions and War on Russia
      • The Phoney War Over Ukraine

        Where Ukraine is concerned, Patrick Cockburn made the astute observation that Putin holds all the cards as long as he keeps his menaces on the level of a shadow-theatre— most of these cards will disappear the moment he invades Ukraine.

        Better to have his western adversaries flinch at Putin’s every move on an imaginary chessboard than have to counter with real tanks and missiles after a NATO military response once Russia makes an incursion into Ukraine.

      • Opinion | US-NATO Militarism Is the Cause, Not the Solution
      • Opinion | Would Ned Price Lie Us Into War?
      • Debate: Would U.S. Sanctions Bill on Russia Prevent Military Conflict or Make War More Likely?

        In an effort to discourage Russia’s increasing military presence at the border with Ukraine, the U.S. has threatened to impose sanctions if Russian President Vladimir Putin orders an invasion. We host a debate between two foreign policy thinkers on whether sanctions could avert war — or make it more likely. The current sanctions bill proposed by Congress rushes to punish Russia in a way that would be harmful to diplomacy and could have disastrous humanitarian impacts on Russian civilians, warns Marcus Stanley, advocacy director of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Meanwhile, George Lopez, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute, says sanctions can act as an effective deterrent to Russian aggression.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Russia Slows Down Access To Twitter As New Form Of Censorship (2021)
      • To Avert 'Full-Blown War,' Coalition Urges Biden to Rejoin Iran Deal

        An anti-war coalition composed of 20 U.S.-based organizations on Wednesday encouraged President Joe Biden's administration to swiftly finalize a revival of the Iran nuclear deal as "diplomatic momentum builds" in Vienna.

        "It is vital that the United States continue to press toward a successful conclusion of negotiations."

      • Propagandist for Syria terror proxies compromised Amnesty International, leaked docs show
      • Frontex has air superiority

        With its aerial surveillance, from space and soon possibly from the stratosphere, the EU border agency is becoming a quasi-secret service

      • For the first time in more than 20 years, Russia will not send an official delegation to the Munich Security Conference

        There will be no official delegation from Russia at this year’s Munich Security Conference, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced during a briefing on Wednesday, February 9.€ 

      • 2nd guilty plea made in alleged kidnapping plot of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

        A second man charged in a bizarre plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pleaded guilty Wednesday and has agreed to testify for the prosecution at the federal trial of four other defendants.

      • [YLE]: Finnish parliament foreign committee member resigns over Ukraine tweet

        The chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Eduskunta, the Finnish parliament, is resigning his committee post in the wake of a tweet he issued on any potential Ukrainian membership of NATO.

      • 'I didn't kill anyone,' Paris terror attacker claims

        The only assailant still alive after the terror attacks that rocked Paris in November 2015 said Wednesday that "I didn't kill anyone, I didn't hurt anyone" as he took the stand for the first time in the trial over the jihadist massacres.

      • Salah Abdeslam: Paris attacks defendant denies killing anyone

        Prosecutors say Salah Abdeslam, 32, is the only surviving member of the IS cell that targeted Paris that night, killing 130 people.

        In court on Wednesday, he restated his support for the Islamic State group, but said he chose at the last minute not to detonate his explosives.

    • Environment

      • Soaring Methane Levels Has Scientists Concerned Climate Feedback Loop Is Here
      • Pipeline Politics Hits Multipolar Realities: Nord Stream 2 and the Ukraine Crisis

        By John Foster, CounterPunch. Originally published on CounterPunch.

        Amid escalating tensions between the United States/NATO and Russia, all eyes are on Ukraine, but Nord Stream 2, a pipeline built to bring Russian gas under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany, is an integral part of the story.

      • 13 Youth File 'Vital' Constitutional Climate Lawsuit Against Virginia

        Virginia residents ages 10 to 19 filed a constitutional lawsuit against the commonwealth on Wednesday over the government's fossil fuel policies that contribute to the climate emergency.

        "Virginia's youth never signed up to clean up the mistakes of previous generations."

      • Opinion | Voting Rights and Environmental Justice

        As studies increasingly tally the death toll of climate change, the recent stalemate over voting rights legislation in the Senate puts the United States at a grave crossroads.€ 

      • Big Tech’s climate goals are weaker than they seem, report finds

        The word “net” in pledges allows companies to make their climate efforts seem more impressive than they are. Companies can reach net-zero climate goals by reducing some of their CO2 pollution and using other tactics to try to cancel out the negative effects of emissions they continue to produce. They might try to offset emissions by investing in tree farms or forests that naturally draw down CO2, even though it’s a strategy that has often failed to deliver long-term reductions of carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere. A separate report released last month by BloombergNEF warned that the growing popularity of offsets could threaten gains in corporate clean energy buying if companies decide to invest their money in offsets rather than in renewable energy.

      • Scientists Fear Soaring Methane Levels Show Climate Feedback Loop Has Arrived

        Fresh U.S. government data spotlighting the rapid growth of atmospheric methane concentrations in recent years has scientists increasingly concerned that the human-caused climate crisis has triggered a vicious feedback loop, potentially resulting in unstoppable planetary warming.

        "Is warming feeding the warming? It's an incredibly important question. As yet, no answer, but it very much looks that way."

      • “Don’t Look Up”: David Sirota on His Oscar Nod for Writing Blockbuster Climate Crisis & Media Satire

        We speak to longtime progressive journalist and 2020 Bernie Sanders adviser David Sirota, who was just nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing the screenplay of the hit Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up” along with the film’s director, Adam McKay. The satire of the fight to have climate change acknowledged, let alone acted upon by global leaders, follows the plight of astronomy professor Dr. Randall Mindy (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and his graduate student Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) as they fail to warn the planet of an impending comet that threatens to wipe out human existence. The film shows audiences “how ridiculous and destructive our world has become when it comes to dealing constructively with science,” says Sirota. If corporate media tends to make light of serious issues, the film raises the larger question: “How do we actually make climate science salient in the political discourse?”

      • 13 Million People Facing Climate-Driven Starvation in Horn of Africa: WFP

        Severe drought driven by the climate emergency has pushed 13 million people in the Horn of Africa to the brink of starvation, the United Nations World Food Program reported Tuesday.

        "We need to act now to prevent a catastrophe."€ 

      • Don’t Sabotage the Climate Movement by Turning to Violence

        Greta Thunberg may be the face of the global climate justice movement, but Luisa Neubauer is its strategic mind and most articulate orator. Neubauer, a German climate activist with Fridays for Future, is a fierce adversary of the fossil fuel industry who regularly dismantles mealymouthed national officials on German talk shows.

      • Energy

        • What I learned from the words and rhymes of alleged Bitcoin launderer Razzlekhan

          Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced it had finally recovered almost all the Bitcoin stolen in the 2016 Bitfinex hack with its “largest financial seizure ever.” The DOJ was, however, immediately upstaged — when people discovered that one of the people accused of helping launder billions of dollars of Bitcoin had posted rap videos to the [Internet].

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Opinion | We Must Reinstate the IRS Report on the Richest 400 Americans That Trump Axed

        The wealth of America's billionaires soared to $5.1 trillion in 2021, up $2 trillion since the beginning of the pandemic. Yet, we know a lot less about how much the top-earning Americans pay in federal income taxes today than we did even a few years ago.

      • 'Supervillain Stuff': DeJoy Accused of Exploiting Loophole to Buy Gas Trucks

        Did the U.S. Postal Service purposely calculate the weight of its new delivery vehicles at 8,501 pounds so as to skirt anti-pollution regulations by a single pound?

        Watchdogs are leveling that charge after the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that the USPS—led by major Trump donor Louis DeJoy—assigned its forthcoming fleet of largely gas-powered trucks a weight rating "a mere pound over the threshold for light-duty vehicle efficiency standards," which are more strict than those pertaining to heavier vehicles.

      • House Passes Bill to Repeal 'Debilitating' USPS Prefunding Mandate

        The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed bipartisan legislation that would eliminate a mandate requiring the U.S. Postal Service to prefund retiree health benefits decades in advance, a major contributor to the mail agency's financial woes.

        "We are one step away from securing a critical victory for postal workers, the Postal Service, and the public."

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • State Board Asserts Right to Decide If Cawthorn Is Eligible to Run in Midterms
      • “Ron Johnson Doesn’t Give a Sh*t About Wisconsin Workers”

        Ron Johnson is the Republican senator from Wisconsin. But his constituency has always been the billionaire investor class that seeks to depress wages, undermine environmental protections, and diminish democracy to maximize profits. Johnson, a millionaire who bought his way into the Senate with family funds and generous contributions from out-of-state billionaires, has never been all that secretive about where his loyalty lies. Last week, however, he delivered an anti-worker message that was so dismissive it shocked even those who thought they knew the depths to which the most craven crony capitalist in the US Senate would go.

      • Another Unconstitutional Republican Law Bites the Dust

        Late last week,€ Helena District Court Judge Mike Menahan ruled against Gianforte and Attorney General Austin Knudsen€ on SB319, sponsored by Republican Sen. Greg Hertz, tossing two provisions as unconstitutional and, as they say in the old song, “another one bites the dust.”

        One has to wonder, given their record of ignoring the provisions of Montana’s internationally lauded and copied Constitution, whether the Republican legislative majorities consider the foundational document of our state’s governance to be simply words on paper. Certainly we’ve already had one of those legislators,€ Whitefish Republican Rep. Derek Skees, say “we need to throw out Montana’s socialist rag of a constitution.”

      • Watchdogs Demand DOJ Probe Into Trump's Destruction of Official Records

        A pair of government watchdog organizations on Tuesday urged the Biden Justice Department to launch an investigation into former President Donald Trump's reported habit of tearing up briefings, schedules, memos, and other official records, a likely violation of federal law.

        "There is no excuse for hiding important information from the public."

      • 'Manchin Has Probably Doomed the Party': Support for Dems Dips After Child Tax Credit Killed

        New polling revealed Wednesday that as Democratic lawmakers have failed in recent months to enact the Build Back Better Act, support for party members has dropped among U.S. voters affected by the expiration of the expanded child tax credit.

        "You win by delivering for people and you lose by giving them nothing."

      • Pelosi Appears Ready to Drop Opposition to Stock Trading Ban

        Following pressure from progressives and government watchdog groups, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reportedly moving toward a proposal to ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks.

        The development, first reported Wednesday by Punchbowl News, which cited multiple sources involved in the discussion, marks a shift from Pelosi (D-Calif.). She's previously defended individual stock trading by federal lawmakers, declaring, "We are a free market economy."

      • Opinion | The Battle to Protect Voting Rights Continues

        2021 was a bad year for voting rights. Now state legislatures have returned for their sessions. What will 2022 bring? Early returns are not encouraging.

      • How the Establishment Functions: The Real Dark Web

        Alison Levitt, the lawyer appointed by Keir Starmer to produce the report which “cleared” him of involvement in the decision not to prosecute Jimmy Savile, is married to Lord Carlile, friend of two serial paedophiles, Greville Janner and Cyril Smith.

      • Microsoft announces open app store rules to prove it’s okay with new laws

        For now, the company has committed to specific decisions that bolster openness in the gaming ecosystem, including one that may appease gamers who are worried about the Microsoft—Activision Blizzard deal: Microsoft is promising to keep Call of Duty and other Activision Blizzard titles on PlayStation consoles “beyond the existing agreement.” But it’s apparently making these commitments on a case-by-case basis.

      • Archives officials suspect Trump "possibly violated laws" concerning White House records: report

        There has been much debate over penalties for former President Donald Trump for knowingly destroying documents and then taking official documents to take back to Mar-a-Lago. The statute lists, among the punishments, disqualification from office, which has been the key piece anti-Trump activists cling to.

        The only way for that to be possible, however, is if the National Archives found the behavior to be so egregious that they referred it to the Justice Department. On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that's exactly what happened.

      • US National Archives requests legal probe of Trump over handling of documents

        US presidents are required by law to transfer all of their letters, work documents and emails to the National Archives.

        But officials say the former president illegally ripped up many documents.

        Some of them had to be taped back together, the Archives said.

        It has also emerged that 15 boxes of papers that Mr Trump should have turned over when he left the White House were instead taken to his home in Florida.

      • National Archives asked DOJ to probe Trump's handling of White House records: report

        The National Archives has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to look into former President Trump's handling of White House records since leaving office, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday, amid revelations in recent days that he had retained official documents that should have been turned over.

        According to the Post, the National Archives' referral has prompted internal discussions among federal prosecutors about potentially investigating whether Trump committed a crime in not properly turning over the records.

      • Louisiana Senate Candidate Literally Torches a Confederate Flag in New Campaign Ad

        Now, Chambers is back with more fuel for the viral-marketing fire. In a new ad titled “Scars and Bars,” a first look at which was provided exclusively to Rolling Stone, he douses a Confederate battle flag in gasoline before lighting it on fire. The gesture makes for a striking image on its own, but like the first ad’s stark shots of Chambers smoking in New Orleans City Park, it’s accompanied by a voiceover monologue that pulls no punches.

        “Here in Louisiana and all over the South, Jim Crow never really left,” Chambers says, before rattling off statistics about the inequities Black Americans face in his state and across the country. “Our system isn’t broken — it’s designed to do what it’s doing: produce measurable inequity.”

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Why Joe Rogan's vaccine misinformation is so dangerous — and dangerously appealing to his audience

        But while the anti-vaccine campaign is clearly a partisan movement with partisan aims, the single most important figure in validating and spreading vaccine disinformation is likely not Fox News hosts or even Republican politicians. No, that honor goes to "comedian" and Spotify star Joe Rogan, whose tedious podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience" inexplicably draws a reported 11 million listeners per episode — more than three times the audience for Tucker Carlson's wildly popular Fox News show. On his show, Rogan appears to be obsessed with spreading COVID-19 misinformation, as Alex Paterson, a Media Matters researcher who subjected himself to over 350 hours of Rogan's show, has thoroughly documented. Rogan regularly pushes conspiracy theories about the vaccine being dangerous and unnecessary, even dabbling in ridiculous claims that the vaccines contain microchips to "track" people.

      • Neil Young’s Streaming Numbers Soared for a Week After Spotify Pullout, but Have His Fans Migrated for Good?

        So now that he’s finally seeing streaming numbers again that are at or a little below his pre-controversy average, does that mean he “lost”? Hardly, if you’re a Young supporter. It’s worth remembering that Young has said 60% of his streaming revenue came from Spotify — although Billboard put the actual monetary value, due to lower Spotify payout rates, at 42%. If Young continues to draw anything even close to the consumption figures he enjoyed when he was still on Spotify, it would mean that a very big part of his audience made the leap to competing platforms, at least to hear him, if not for all their streaming needs. It’s also possible that out of the controversy he got a lot of sign-ups for his own subscription service, Neil Young Archives, which wouldn’t necessarily be reflected in these numbers.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • 'Don't Say Gay': Bill by Florida GOP Ignites National Condemnation

        Opponents of bigotry and censorship are raising their voices in protest after Florida's GOP-controlled Senate Education Committee on Tuesday advanced legislation that would effectively prohibit teachers from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in primary grades or at any level "in a manner that is not age-appropriate."

        "It is always appropriate for kids to talk about themselves, their experiences, and their family. These are not taboo subjects, but banning them makes them seem so."

      • The Shaming and Punishment of Whoopi Goldberg: What Does It Say About US Society?

        Finally, I found one, Rabbi Sharon Brous of the Ikar community in Los Angeles. She tweeted, “If what you want is to change someone’s mind, I have to think education is more effective than public shaming and punishment. Particularly when that person shows a sincere willingness to learn and apologize.”

        Goldberg did in fact apologize on the same day of her initial statement, saying: “On today’s show, I said the Holocaust ‘is not about race, but about man’s inhumanity to man.’ I should have said it is about both. As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared, ‘The Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people—who they deemed to be an inferior race.’ I stand corrected.”

      • Over 60 Human Rights/Public Interest Groups Urge Congress To Drop EARN IT Act

        We've already talked about the many problems with the EARN IT Act, how the defenders of the bill are confused about many basic concepts, how the bill will making children less safe and how the bill is significantly worse than FOSTA. I'm working on most posts about other problems with the bill, but it really appears that many in the Senate simply don't care.

      • EFF Sends Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee to Oppose EARN IT

        EFF opposed the original and amended versions of this bill in the previous Congress, and our letter outlines our concerns with the reintroduced version of the bill that the sponsors have not addressed.

        Given its significant problems and potential vast impact on internet users, we urged the Committee to reject this new bill. This bill will jeopardize the privacy and cybersecurity of every American, and fundamentally alter the freedom of our online communications.

        EARN IT is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 10. We need your help! Join more than 12,000 EFF supporters who have contacted their senators so far, and tell your senator that you oppose this fatally flawed bill.

      • Activists, Writers, and Security Experts All Oppose the EARN IT Act

        As we€ wrote when the bill was introduced, this bill threatens encryption and free speech, while making it harder to protect children from online abuse. That’s why such a broad coalition of civil society groups are working together to stop the EARN IT Act: civil liberties groups like the Center for Democracy and Technology and the ACLU, LGBT rights groups, activists, and privacy experts.€ 

        EARN IT is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 10. We need your help! Join more than 12,000 EFF supporters who have contacted their senators so far, and tell your Senator that you oppose this fatally flawed bill.€ 

      • Uganda Writer Facing Trial Flees Country, Says Lawyer

        A Ugandan author facing trial for criticizing the son of President Yoweri Museveni has fled the country, according to his lawyer.

        Eron Kiiza, the lawyer for Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, told VOA that the author fled the country Wednesday, two days after a court declined to release his passport.

        In a telephone interview, Kiiza elaborated on his client's whereabouts, saying, "He is in Rwanda, like four to five hours ago. He's trying to coordinate his way. That's how he got out of Uganda. And finally, he will find his way to Europe."

      • Pakistan Court Sentences Hindu Teacher To Life Imprisonment Over Blasphemy

        The Hindu teacher was arrested in 2019 and he has been in jail since as an under-trial prisoner over the blasphemy charges.

      • Anti-domestic violence play canceled for 'violating' Islamic tradition

        “Women are killed because there are those who normalize it and demand that they remain silent when they are threatened,” Joint List (Hadash) MK Aida Touma-Sliman said. She denounced Jarrah’s hypocrisy, saying that the cancellation is an example of this phenomenon. Suleiman agreed.“We need to help women, and not shut them up.”

      • Will France Wake Up and Defend Her Freedom – or Not?

        We should be worried about Europe. It is the cradle of European culture, especially France. Henry James, in The Ambassadors, writes about France as the epitome of civilization, as the "eldest daughter of the Church". Now, however, France's churches are being burned, demolished and abandoned, and its adherents sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. France's Jews, "the canaries in the coalmine", are being physically attacked and leaving their country. Since 2000, more than 60,000 have fled.

        In the face of this massive assault on freedom and culture, an army of "useful idiots" is siding with the enemies of civilization. Professor Robert Redeker was forced into hiding after criticizing radical Islam and now has to be protected by police.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • UK Official Secrets Act Proposals Take Cues From US Espionage Act Cases

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter Newsletter. Become a monthly subscriber to help us continue our independent journalism.The United Kingdom’s right-wing dominated government is on course to greatly expand its ability to prosecute and jail whistleblowers and journalists through amendments to the country's Official Secrets Acts. These potential amendments would be the first major changes to the law since 1989. They come as the U.K. and U.S. governments continue to seek the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for his role in receiving and publishing the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs, Guantanamo Bay detainee files, and U.S. diplomatic cables.

      • Assange-Pak NFT auction reaches more than $50 million

        The much-anticipated auction of NFT collection ‘Censored’, a collaboration between political prisoner Julian Assange and renowned artist Pak reached more than $50 million today before the first part of the auction closed.The collection consists of two parts: an auction of a single artwork ‘Clock’ (1 of 1) and a separate pay-what-you-like Open Edition. The proceeds from the auctioned single artwork Clock will raise funds for Julian Assange’s legal battle. The auction site is https://censored.art.The Open Edition artwork generates a customized NFT based on the message entered by each collector. https://censored.art/message. Proceeds from the Open Edition will go to organizations chosen by Julian Assange and Pak that fight censorship, champion press freedom, or defend fundamental rights.The Collaboration: ‘Censored’ [https://censored.art] is a digital art collection exploring the concept of freedom, and is a collaboration between Julian Assange and record-breaking NFT artist Pak. It was unveiled over two weeks ago. ‘Censored’ is a two-part collection. The first part of the collaboration is a one of a kind generative interactive blockchain artwork titled Clock.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Clarence and Ginni Thomas, the Supreme Court’s Unethical “It” Couple

        It seems the wider world is becoming acquainted with the ethical disaster that is the conservative power couple Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas. A few weeks ago, The New Yorker published an excellent exposé by Jane Mayer of Ginni’s long history of conservative political activism on behalf of causes and even litigants who appear before her husband’s court. For people who hadn’t been following the couple for the past 30 years, the piece was a revelation.

      • An outdated institution Maxim Trudolyubov on how authoritarian states use citizenship to create loyal subjects and control the masses

        Every year, the Russian authorities “create” hundreds of thousands of new citizens — 720,000 Russian passports have already been issued to residents of Ukraine’s Donbas alone. In a sense, however, the Kremlin’s actions are not so different from other governments that offer citizenship to foreign nationals in order to (1) expand their sphere of influence abroad and (2) acquire new, loyal electorates. Meanwhile, Russia has deprived nine million of its own citizens of a key civil right — the right to stand for election — and pro-government politicians periodically float the idea of depriving opposition-minded Russians of their citizenship. Meduza “Ideas” editor Maxim Trudolyubov breaks down how citizenship has evolved from a privilege to an instrument of control and manipulation.€ 

      • Why Prisons Are Banning Letters

        Not many people send letters through the post these days, but in prisons and jails across the country, the ritual of the mail call has long been a daily sacrament. When Dana Lomax-Williams was incarcerated in Pennsylvania several years ago, paper mail was a lifeline that connected her to her family on the outside. But now, as a free woman and the president of the Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration–Delaware County, which advocates for the rights of people serving life sentences, she cannot return the favor to those still behind bars. In 2018, Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections (DOC) transitioned to a privately run scanning system that turns every piece of mail into a digital facsimile. This policy combined with a prison e-mail system run by another third-party contractor, she said, obstructs and undermines her communications. She said that the DOC’s photocopied scans of her paper mail are sometimes missing pages and her e-mails are redacted when they are received by her clients.

      • Critical Race Facts
      • Terrible Vermont Harassment Law Being Challenged After Cops Use It To Punish A Black Lives Matter Supporter Over Her Facebook Posts

        In June 2020, in Brattleboro, Vermont, something extremely ordinary happened. Two residents of the community interacted on Facebook. It was not a friendly interaction, which made it perhaps even more ordinary.

      • Progressives Double Down on Opposition to Clyburn's Anti-Labor SCOTUS Choice

        Progressive lawmakers and advocates are intensifying calls for President Joe Biden to consider the interests of working people—not corporations—when he nominates a judge to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court as House Majority Whip James Clyburn ramps up his lobbying campaign on behalf of Judge J. Michelle Childs.

        "You want somebody who is going to be reflective of the needs of working families and understands that we are moving towards an oligarchy in this country," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told Politico Wednesday, without naming a preferred candidate.

      • Unplugged

        In one of its many exhausting moments of metacommentary, The Matrix Resurrections addresses Hollywood’s relentless harvesting of existing intellectual property: “We can’t see it, but we’re all trapped inside these strange, repeating loops.” The line, uttered by a new Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; previously Laurence Fishburne) who lives inside a video game version of The Matrix that’s inside the Matrix, is meant to be uncanny. In today’s ecosystem of shareholder-friendly adaptations and reboots, The Matrix and its eccentric fusion of cyberpunk, anime, philosophy, film noir, and Hong Kong cinema would probably never get made. But as a reboot: Why not?

      • 'There's Power in a Union': House Dems Intro Resolution to Allow Staffer Unionization

        House Democrats on Wednesday introduced legislation recognizing congressional workers' right to unionize—a move the workers said must be swiftly followed by a floor vote.

        "Congressional staff must enjoy the same fundamental rights of freedom of association at work, to organize and bargain collectively for better conditions, that all workers deserve."

      • First Circuit Tears Into Boston PD's Bullshit Gang Database While Overturning A Deportation Decision

        A federal court has delivered a rebuke of police gang databases in, of all things, a review of a deportation hearing.

      • Workers at Largest GM Plant in Mexico Win Historic Independent Union Vote
      • After Years of Living in Fear, GM Workers in Mexico are Flexing Their Power
      • Workers at Largest GM Plant in Mexico Win Historic Vote for New Independent Union After 2019 Reforms

        In Mexico, thousands of workers at the country’s largest General Motors plant have won a historic vote to form an independent union, breaking from a tradition of corrupt unions tied to elites who cut deals with corporations to keep wages and benefits low. We go to Guanajuato, Mexico, to speak with historian Javier Bravo about the victory and the passage of critical labor reforms in 2019, which ensure workers can create new unions independent of the will of their employers, says Bravo.

      • Amir Locke Murder Shows “Reforming the Police” Isn’t Enough, Activists Say
      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Down In Virginia’ By Grace Victoria

        Grace Victoria is a Virginia-born and New York City-based singer-songwriter, who recently released thealbum, “Love & Justice.” The album deals heavily with themes connected to the Black Americanexperience.“Black Looks Better On Me,” “No,” and “Let Me Tell You” each deal with Black empowerment, and on the samba-influenced tune “Down in Virginia,” the song grapples with Victoria’s own experience growing up in the South. Composed around the time that George Floyd was murdered by police in 2020, the tune is an exploration of the racism and violence faced by Black people on a constant basis.The lyrics include an indictment of blatant racism as well as liberal complacency: “The people in thecountry can get pretty mean. A crazy woman called me n*gger made me wanna scream. But my angernever brought me a single thing, down in Virginia, baby.” “When I was older I took a trip to the North. You’ll never guess what I found: The liberals are under the impression that racism is no longer around.”Grace Victoria sheds a needed spotlight on the fact that silence is violence. If we are not speaking outagainst racism, then we are part of the problem.

      • Starbucks Fires Seven Union Organizers in Memphis, Sparking Outrage
      • 'We Won't Be Silenced': Workers Fired by Starbucks Amid Union Drive Speak Out

        Less than 24 hours after they were fired amid a unionization effort at a Starbucks in Memphis, Tennessee, former employees of the giant coffee chain reiterated that they don't intend to back down.

        The corporation is trying "to silence us and we won't be silenced," Beto Sanchez, Lakota McGlawn, Nikki Taylor, and Nabretta Hardin—all four members of the union organizing committee at the city's Poplar and Highland Starbucks location—told pro-worker media group More Perfect Union during an exclusive interview shared Wednesday.

      • How Social Justice [sic] Killed Anti-Racism

        Like many Londoners who grew up in the 1970s and ’80s, I was used to existing in a white-minority environment, and I had long been aware that black people were no less racist than any other demographic. But racism against whites, Asians, and Jews had always been spoken softly, out of the earshot of most British people. It was not a serious problem, but something that existed in the background. The British anti-racism movement had certainly never pretended that one form of racism was worse than another: racism in any form was, ipso facto, corrosive to communities and opposed on that basis. It just seemed self-evident that hatred from one group would provoke a rise in hatred on the other side. So, British activism was focussed on creating opportunities for greater community cohesion and integration. The most famous upshot was the Notting Hill Carnival, an event founded following the 1959 race riots and intended to bring West London’s divided black and white communities together around a celebration of Trinidadian culture.

        Most people—black or white—were unaware of ethno-nationalism in the black British community, which was far less marked than in the United States. In the new century, some commentators did begin to discuss the problem openly. For example, in 2004, the outspoken British-Trinidadian activist and commentator Darcus Howe wrote about racism towards Somali immigrants within black communities. Similarly, there have long been tensions between some black and Asian communities. But, generally, those in the political and journalistic classes were either unaware of such issues or reluctant to broach them in public. So, although people raised in parts of London with large black populations, or those in mixed relationships, experienced such bigotry first-hand, the problem was seldom acknowledged.

      • 10 Christian converts forced to take Islamic re-education classes in Iran: report

        The IRGC had summoned more converts, but they didn’t appear. However, those who didn’t appear were called and asked why they hadn’t appeared.

        The IRGC arrested four converts in the southwestern city of Dezful last April and charged them with “propaganda against the Islamic Republic” because they participated in a house church, according to an earlier report from Article 18. The IRGC also summoned other Christian converts for interrogation at the time. The four arrested had personal property confiscated for nearly six months, including necessary items for their children’s schoolwork, laptops and mobile phones.

      • In Malaysia, calls grow for child marriages to end by reforming laws

        It was legal for Lia to marry because Muslims in Malaysia, who are subject to sharia or Islamic law under the country’s dual-legal system, only need to be 16. Under secular law that applies to non-Muslims, who make up 28.7 per cent of the 32.7 million population, both parties have to be at least 18 to get hitched.

      • Biden Admin and EU Silent on Iran's Rising Persecution of Religious Minorities

        Since the Biden administration lifted the "maximum pressure" imposed by the previous administration, the ruling mullahs have only escalated their persecution of religious minorities. Instead of incessantly lecturing the world on human rights, the EU and the Biden administration would sound more credible if they would stop appeasing the human rights catastrophe that Iran's regime has become, and hold the ruling mullahs accountable.

      • The Lasting Legacy Of Redlining

        It’s been over 80 years since the lines were drawn in Fairfax and over 50 years since the use of redlining was legally banned, but the impact of redlining is still felt in cities like Cleveland, where redlined neighborhoods are some of the most starkly segregated in the country.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • What the Duck? Why an EU Proposal to Require "QWACs" Will Hurt Internet Security

        QWACs use guidelines similar to Extended Validation (EV) certificates. Both are digital certificates issued to domain owners with an added process that establishes an identity check on the domain owner. This approach has been proven ineffective over the years.

        For a short while, browsers made a point of showing EV certificates to the user, displaying the certificate details in green. They assumed that this clear marker would indicate more security for users. However, nefarious parties ended up obtaining EV Certificates and hosting phishing sites. This highlights that HTTPS—supported by certificates—establishes a secure connection between you and that website, but does not guarantee the website itself is storing or using the information you may submit to it ethically. Nor is it an assurance that a company's business practices are sound. That is what consumer protection laws are for.

        Because emphasizing these certificates proved ineffective in helping user security, Chrome and Firefox in 2019 decided to no longer emphasize EV Certified websites in the URL bar. Safari stopped in late 2018. However, EV certificates are significantly more expensive and some Certificate Authorities (CAs) that sell them still inaccurately suggest that browsers emphasize EV certificates in their sales pitch for these products. Requiring that QWACs be displayed in the same fashion is just further pursuing the illusion that displaying identity information to the user will be worth the effort.

      • Resurrecting Rutube The Russian authorities have been investing in domestic ‘alternatives’ to YouTube, investigative journalists report

        The Russian authorities have been sinking money into domestic alternatives to YouTube for over a year, says a new investigation from iStories and Agentstvo. Allegedly, these Russian video platforms are meant to serve as substitutes in the event that Russia’s censorship agency bans YouTube altogether. However, sources say blocking YouTube would be a last resort — apparently, the authorities in the Kremlin hope that its parent company, Google, can be “forced into submission” through fines and threats to throttle YouTube’s traffic.

      • Access Now to U.N.: it’s time for transparency in the Tech Envoy process - Access Now

        On February 4, 2022, the Chef de Cabinet (the head of the Office of the U.N. Secretary-General in the Secretariat) responded to Access Now’s joint coalition letter on the U.N. Tech Envoy appointment process. The response, while timely acknowledging civil society’s input, did not commit to implementing the recommendations supported by over 90 organizations. Critically, while the response alludes to transparency, the Secretary General’s office indicates that the U.N. Tech Envoy selection process remains confined to “established [U.N.] practice” — a practice that needs updating within this appointment process and beyond.

      • Update: internet access, censorship, and the Myanmar coup - Access Now

        Access Now and civil society organizations from across the globe are calling on the international community and technology companies to stand with the people of Myanmar and resist the coup — both physical and digital.

        A Myanmar citizen has filed a complaint at the Norwegian Data Protection Authority against Telenor Group under Article 77(1) of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — contending that the sale of Telenor Myanmar will result in privacy violations of over 18 million customers. The complaint was filed by SANDS law firm, with the support of the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO). Access Now supports SOMO’s analysis that, “Telenor chose to enter the Myanmar market and asked Myanmar citizens — as part of its sales pitch — to trust the company with their personal data […] Telenor Group and its majority shareholder, the Norwegian government, have an obligation to protect these individuals from harm, which includes persecution, torture, and even extrajudicial killings.”

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • WarnerMedia Sued For Giving People Want They Wanted (The Matrix, Streaming) During An Historic Health Crisis

        AT&T got a lot wrong (and still really can't admit it) with the company's $86 billion acquisition of Time Warner. There were endless layoffs, a steady dismantling of beloved brands (DC's Vertigo imprint, Mad Magazine), all for the company to lose pay TV subscribers in the end.

      • A Fight Over the Right to Repair Cars Turns Ugly

        Chie Ferrelli loved her Subaru SUV, which she bought in 2020 because it made her feel safe. So when it was time for her husband, Marc, to purchase his own new car last summer, they returned to the Subaru dealer near their home in southeast Massachusetts. But there was a catch, one that made the couple mad: Marc’s sedan wouldn’t have access to the company's telematics system and the app that went along with it. No remote engine start in the freezing New England winter; no emergency assistance; no automated messages when the tire pressure was low or the oil needed changing. The worst part was that if the Ferrellis lived just a mile away, in Rhode Island, they would have the features. They bought the car. But thinking back, Marc says, if he had known about the issue before stepping into the dealership he “probably would have gone with Toyota.”

        Subaru disabled the telematics system and associated features on new cars registered in Massachusetts last year as part of a spat over a right-to-repair ballot measure approved, overwhelmingly, by the state’s voters in 2020. The measure, which has been held up in the courts, required automakers to give car owners and independent mechanics more access to data about the car’s internal systems.

    • Monopolies



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